A Russian Sukhoi Superjet 100 made an emergency landing in Moscow Thursday after its landing gear failed to retract following takeoff, according to reports.
None of the 77 passengers on board the Aeroflot service from Moscow to Nizhny Novgorod were injured, but the incident was another black mark for a program struggling to shake off Russia’s poor reputation for air safety.
The Superjet has been championed by the Russian government as it seeks to revive the country’s aircraft industry. Developed by the state-owned United Aircraft Corporation in conjunction with Italy’s Finmeccanica, the Superjet is at the centre of Russian ambitions to sell US$250 billion in aircraft by 2025.
But the program took a major hit when a Superjet crashed during a promotional flight in Indonesia last year, killing all aboard. That incident was blamed on pilot error, but since then Aeroflot has been forced to briefly ground four of its 10 Superjets and a US$900 million order from Indonesia’s Kartika Airlines has been threatened with cancellation.
Aeroflot is the only airline currently operating the Superjet.